Saturday, February 03, 2007

Hobos. Diet Ppsi. Calaway Park.

I just finished watching Emperor Of The North Pole. A bit like a Sunday afternoon film for kids, but with Ernest Borgnine hitting hobos in the head with hammers.
It has Lee Marvin in it.
Along with diet cola and greasy pizza, Lee Marvin is comforting to me. Weekends spent at my Dad's house as an adolescent eating, drinking, and watching Lee prance around berating someone to do something like kill Nazis or....kill Nazis.
My inbox contained an email about Gowan. Now, I had to second guess my memory, but I think I saw Gowan at Calaway Park when i was a kid, or my sister and cousin did and I stole their memory.
But the Volkswagen Beetle with the stickers all over the windscreen and the periscope out the top, that's mine and no else's.

Some more details about a curated solo show of mine in Montreal in October should be forthcoming soon.


sarah said...

"But the Volkswagen Beetle with the stickers all over the windscreen and the periscope out the top, that's mine and no else's."

i take it you're describing gowan's tour vehicle? :)

JW Veldhoen said...

I sort of saw Glass Tiger (great name for a band if you stop to think of it) at Calaway Park. I dropped a batch of mostly uneaten cotton candy into a mire that had gathered from a potent and inexplicable freezing rain. The florescent pink molar molter disintegrated instantly in the pooled water under a far too small tent.
I ended up at the rear of a huge, tall, adult crowd. It blocked the view of the stage and I couldn't see anything, and because I couldn't see, I was dejected--as though I couldn't still hear, and I begged to go home, sore. Then the cotton candy incident.

I threw out my Glass Tiger tape, angry at the band (now I know the mistake of my anger, so misplaced. I should have hated Glass Tiger for being like every other boring Canadian rock act, for trying to mimic something else, better, from elsewhere. A terrible culture of emulators, still often the case now).

Part of a growing collection of prized cassettes: the soundtrack to Ghostbusters, Midnight Oil, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, yes Gowan, Cory Hart, U2, Bon Jovi, Tina Turner and Duran Duran (the soundtrack to Beyond Thunderdome), Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straights...

Calaway park was never the same. Except for the haunted mansion. What was it called? I loved that place. Is it a false memory that they kept the second floor closed? And that once it opened, as part of a necessary addition, it was far better and more terrifying... Or is it my memory, even now conflating it with the inside of some strange mansion, stucco green faux-corbled and filled with neon frights, also the Bates mansion. Also, a western home... as filled with Hanna-Barbera characters.

Sorry. I haven't thought of this for years, even after many passes-by and comments. I wonder what it is like now? Sometimes, when I went there, I associated it with farther west, even a dusty Los Angeles. A multi-colored cartoon on the foothills, Dino the dinosaur obscuring the fearful non-simulacra at the Tyrell. A place to ride, but also observe cultural artifacts. I remember the "market" at the start of the park as the closest thing in those days in Calgary to Europe. The Arcades of Alberta? Haven't written much lately. Taking a bend into architecture, and memory, with thoughts of it though.